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  • Aquaman



    They made a live-action Lion King after all! It's an oddly straightforward mix of levity, bombast and an unlikely (but very likeable) star, which seems to have been given some kind of critical pass on the grounds that it restores camp fun to an increasingly miserable genre—thereby affirming these films as perfect emblems of Hollywood opportunism and its merry-go-round of schema plus variation.

    Fun factor, however, is mitigated by gross overlength. In addition (sorry, apologists), a bad script is a…

  • Extras: The Extra Special Series Finale

    Extras: The Extra Special Series Finale


    Gervais' Celebrity Big Brother breakdown is class—as good a demonstration of his acting chops as anything else in this series—even if it also further crystallises his own messiah-like centrality, which emerged more and more as the show progressed. In earlier episodes, Gervais and Merchant gave Andy only the occasionally endearing triumph—when he instinctively sticks up for Maggie against Ben Stiller, for instance—whereas his eleventh-hour epiphany and subsequent apology to Maggie concludes what feels like too predetermined a redemption arc, à…

Popular reviews

  • Utøya: July 22

    Utøya: July 22

    An actual terror attack is reworked into a home-turf tourist movie: a real-time horror film complete with the kinds of clichés (a heroine returning to danger zones, creepy footsteps outside a tent, gunshot jump-shocks, and so on) for which a genre effort with more schlocky, less arty credentials would be taken to task. The persistent specificity of the opening sequence (dates, timestamps, locations, CCTV footage of the Oslo bombings) hints at a verisimilitude but Poppe, who lacked the guts and…

  • Last Flag Flying

    Last Flag Flying


    Who pressed the button that granted critics the day off when reviewing this? I’m baffled by their general laziness (epitomised by Bradshaw’s sniffy Guardian capsule), by their wilful refusal to interrogate beyond the film’s ostensibly conservative style. There’s a savage critique of a truly pointless foreign policy here; the film centres on the human cost of the War in Iraq as felt by ordinary people trying to reconcile a sense of patriotic duty with their growing awareness of how rotten…